Five week old; breastfed on demand - some queries

(14 Posts)
callamia Mon 18-Nov-13 13:55:29

Hi,

I'm currently feeding my five week old on demand, and I have a few queries and worries that I'm hoping some people with good experience will be able to help me out with. I realise this sounds like the ramblings of a neurotic, but I am really keen to breastfeed as successfully as possible. We had a tough start with him being in NICU, and being bottle-fed like a goose being kept for fois gras. For the first week we came home, I supplemented a little bit with formula before stopping that about three weeks ago. We initially struggled to establish feeding without him ruining my nipples, but some trips to a breastfeeding cafe helped an awful lot. However, I still feel fairly under-confident about what I'm doing. I've read as much as I can, but these are questions that I can't readily find answers to.

My main worry is about length of feeding. My baby has never fed for very long - it's usually around ten minutes, but can be as short as five or as long as twenty. Recently, he's been feeding less frequently during the day. I think now he feeds for a total of about two hours per day (from three to four in the first few weeks). I know I shouldn't be clock-watching, and I'm pretty sure that I have a fairly fast let down - he does sometimes cough and choke a bit, so he probably gets a fair amount in that few minutes, but I'm just wondering if this seems reasonable. I think it's too early for him to be a routine, but I'm also wondering whether I should be trying to persuade him to feed for longer, and if so, how? He tends to fall asleep at the breast, and doesn't want to feed if I wake him again - it feels very counter-intuitive to wake him.

My other concern is that he can be quite inconsistent in his latch - sometimes he flails around, doesn't open his mouth and then gets really upset. He does end up feeding, but the initial flurry of activity makes me wonder whether there's anything different I could be doing. We feed in a couple of different positions, but mainly cradle.

I know that this all seems a bit something and nothing. He's been putting on weight (3lbs since birth), and produces wet and dirty nappies, so I know that there's no real need to worry. I just want to be sure that I am doing the best for him. I'm grateful for any thoughts and advice. We will go back to the local breastfeeding cafe, but this week is coincides with my six week check-up, so we won't be able to go. Thanks lots.

Creamtea1 Mon 18-Nov-13 14:15:14

Hi, I'm no expert and hopefully one of the ladies who are will be along soon - but if your ds has put on 3lb since his birth 5 weeks ago you are doing really well!
If it helps, my dd only feeds for 10 mins on average and she is a hefty 14lb at 8 weeks so it certainly hasn't been an issue here.

callamia Mon 18-Nov-13 14:31:14

Thank you @creamtea,
I'm having a 'need reassurance' sort of a day... I'm happy to know that there are other speedy feeders who are thriving!

cindyrella Mon 18-Nov-13 15:18:10

Sounds like yr doing brilliantly.
My dd feeds for 5 mins only as i have fast flow & is thriving. Dont worry about waking him up...my trick is to tickle mine behind her ear. If shes still hungry it will stimulate her to drink more & if shes not, it wont! You'll find your wee ones trigger.
If you find your let down or flow is too much, try feeding lying down & gravity will help.
My let down is so strong she pulls away & a stream of milk shoots across the room....it hit me in the face this morning :D

tiktok Mon 18-Nov-13 16:55:05

Everything you say indicates healthy, normal, thriving baby with a healthy, normal, feeding pattern ....there is nothing even remotely unusual in your description of how often (variable) and how long (variable) he feeds, and how reliably he latches on each time (variable).

This is what babies of this age are like smile He will improve his consistency in his latch and you could help with that, if you like, by seeing if other positions suit him more.

But honestly....he sounds lovely, and it's great you have come out the other side of a difficult start, and are doing so well. Don't let wobbly confidence stop you from enjoying all this smile

callamia Wed 20-Nov-13 05:32:37

Hugest thanks to all of you.
I think I just need to trust that if he's hungry, then he'll eat.
I feel better fit this reassurance, so thank you all lots.

FaithTheVampireSlayer Wed 20-Nov-13 16:53:09

I'll just add in it sounds like you're doing an amazing job! 3lb gain is phenomenal! I think if you're worried about the latch it's worth going back to the cafe. I wouldn't worry too much about length of time feeding, it sounds like he's just an efficient feeder. Trust me, he'd complain if he was still hungry! The weight gain suggests he's getting enough.
We had latch issues to start with and DD was quite variable but it gradually settled down. Keep going, you're doing a great job smile

sounds just like my 13 wo dd who is currently displaying me her 2 chins smile

tiktok Wed 20-Nov-13 17:31:12

Aw, I love extra chins on babies smile smile

Creamtea1 Wed 20-Nov-13 19:29:20

poocatcher (excellent name btw) my dd is 9 weeks and also has an excellent array of chins, plus leg and arm rolls - she has good padding!

callamia Fri 22-Nov-13 20:18:57

Thanks again to you all.
He was weighed again today at his six week check, and has put on another pound since last week. I'm going to carry on as we are!

Creamtea1 Fri 22-Nov-13 21:23:07

A pound in a week is brilliant!! Keep on doing exactly what you are doing - it's working smile

3boys3dogshelp Fri 22-Nov-13 21:42:04

Don't change a thing you are clearly doing an amazing job! Now you just need to trust your own judgement and stop worrying about timings.
After having 2 big hungry babies before and fighting them into a routine this time I have given up! Ds3 is 6 weeks old and feeds ALL day but is by far the best sleeper of the three. Just do what feels right for your little man.

lucidlady Fri 22-Nov-13 21:47:55

You're doing brilliantly! My DD was a speed feeder too, which I also found worrying but then I found out about fast letdowns.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now